High School Students Plant the Seeds for Change in a Local Playground and Garden

Juniors and seniors at the Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction (UASDC) presented their playground and garden design projects at a Clinton Housing and Development Company (CHDC) building on 10.16.14. Earlier this year, Ashleigh Eubanks from CHDC approached Yves Roger, AIA, an architect and Center for Architecture Foundation Design Educator who leads architecture classes at UASDC, to invite his students to develop garden designs for a vacant lot adjacent to the CHDC site on West 52nd Street. After visiting the site, students were given six weeks to understand and develop the design problem through drawing and model making. Continue reading “High School Students Plant the Seeds for Change in a Local Playground and Garden”

Names in the News

The AIANY 2014 Heritage Ball honored Robert De Niro, Actor and Co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival; Mary Ann Tighe, Chief Executive Officer, CBRE, Inc., New York Tri-State Region; Marilyn Jordan Taylor, FAIA, Dean of the School of Design and Paley Professor, University of Pennsylvania; and Adam Weinstein, President and CEO, Phipps Houses.

The National Academy Museum & School will induct Peter Bohlin, FAIA, Principal, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson; Michael Manfredi, FAIA, and Marion Weiss, FAIA, Founding Partners, Weiss/Manfredi, and Charles Renfro, AIA, Partner, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, as National Academicians on 10.28.14…Alexander Gorlin, FAIA, Principal, Alexander Gorlin Architects, will be honored at Common Ground’s 2014 Annual Gala celebrating home & community…Dr. Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, was awarded the 2014 ULI JC Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development at the Urban Land Institute’s 2014 Fall Meeting…The Supportive Housing Network of New York honored NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development Commissioner Vicki Been (Government Partner of the Year), and The Anderson, designed by Magnusson Architecture and Planning (Residence of the Year for Innovation in the Field) at their 2014 Network Gala… Continue reading “Names in the News”

New Deadlines

2015 Oculus Editorial Calendar
The Oculus 2015 Editorial Calendar has been set. If you are an architect in practice or by training, or see yourself as an astute observer of New York’s architectural and planning scene, Oculus wants to hear from you! You may submit projects/topics from anywhere, but architects must be New York-based. Please submit story ideas/projects by the deadlines indicated below to Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA: kristen@ArchNewsNow.com.

Spring 2015: President’s Theme: “Dialogues from the Edge of Practice” A look at how innovative practices are boldly enlarging the purview of the architect, expanding beyond the traditional scope of practice with new services and revenue models, new modes of collaboration with other disciplines, designing new computational tools to better create design, etc.
Deadline for story ideas, projects: 11.07.14

Summer 2015: AIANY 2015 Design Awards
Submission deadline: 02.06.15

Fall 2015: “Home” (In conjunction with the Housing Exhibition + Archtober)
Housing progress report/report card: whether market rate or affordable, is it living up to our expectations for design, community integration, environmental responsiveness? For affordable and low-income housing, is innovation helping us hit the number of units New York City needs? Continuing controversy about “inclusionary” housing (80/20 and such). Off-site/modular construction. BSA Housing Awards. (To include input from social scientists, urban anthropologists, psychologists, etc.)
Deadline for story ideas, projects: 05.22.15

Winter 2015: “Makers in a Digital World” or “Architecture & the Digital World”
How we present and build what we do: 21st-century visual representation, mapping, big data. Life-cycle of a building: an idea, draw it, digitize for CNC milling machines, construct, share via Instagram, etc. Cooper-Hewitt tech “pencils”; etc.
Deadline for story ideas, projects: 08.14.15 Continue reading “New Deadlines”

On View: At the Center for Architecture

On View

The Swiss Touch in Landscape Architecture
Through 10.31.14

QueensWay Connection: Elevating the Public Realm
Through 10.31.14

ABC Stone Presents “Live Your Life in Stone
Through 10.31.14

Archtober Lounge
Through 10.31.14

New York New Design
Through 11.02.14

New Practices New York 2014
Through 01.17.15


Koen Deprez: Structure and Event
Opening 11.06.14

Saul Steinberg Drawings | Architecture Public Space
Opening 10.10.14

Calling all Architects: The NYC Department of Design + Construction Searches for a Chief Architect

On 10.01.14, Archtober kicked off with a forum featuring NYC Department of Design + Construction (DDC) Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora, who discussed the search process for the newly-created position of Chief Architect. Members of the search committee, including AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA, will select a candidate, who will be empowered to take DDC’s design, sustainability, and resilience efforts to a new level.

DDC is one of the largest civic construction management agencies in the United States with a current portfolio approaching $10 billion across all five boroughs. Since 1996, DDC has completed almost 4,000 projects ranging from new and/or renovated facilities to street, plaza, and coastal resiliency projects to improve the quality of life of New York City residents, businesses, and visitors. Projects have included the new Police Academy Campus, Queens Museum, Bronx Zoo Lion House, Weeksville Heritage Center, Stapleton Branch Library, Columbus Circle, Times Square, and myriad others.

Reporting directly to the DDC Commissioner, the Chief Architect will be responsible for reimagining and leading design excellence and realizing DDC’s mission to bring beautiful, efficient, innovative, resilient, and environmentally-conscious design to all New Yorkers. In this newly created position, the Chief Architect will have the authority to review and approve all design,  and promote and implement new initiatives focused on design excellence, resiliency, sustainability, and innovation. The Chief Architect will collaborate with city agencies, the design community, and DDC professionals to use architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design in implementing city policies and goals. This will include responsibility for bringing visibility to DDC’s innovative design programs through local, national, and international outreach and public events.

For additional information, please see the DDC’s posting.

Saratoga Sings


The election of Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, AIA, LEED AP, was the opening news at the AIA New York State Design Conference, which took place 10.09–10.11.14 in Saratoga Springs, NY. Castillo, currently AIANYS Vice President for Government Advocacy and 2011 AIANY President, was running for 2015 President-elect against AIANYS Board Secretary Ric Stott, AIA, a past-president of AIA Peconic. Other members of the 2015 AIANYS Executive Committee include 2015 President Tim Boyland, AIA; Immediate Past-President Ray Beeler, AIA; VP/Public Advocacy Marcus Marino, AIA; VP/Public Advocacy Robert Stark, AIA; Secretary Jeff Smith, AIA; Treasurer John Notaro, AIA; and Regional Representatives Burton Roslyn, FAIA, Randy Collins, AIA, and Jessica Sheridan, AIA. Saratoga warmly welcomed conference-goers from around the state and region with its stately architecture, walkable streets, music-filled bars, and tradition-rich equine culture. A highlight for some was the Saturday tour of the historic Saratoga Race Course, led by Samantha Bosshart of the Saratoga Preservation Foundation and Michael Phinney, AIA, of Saratoga-based Phinney Design Group. Racing for the season ends on Labor Day, but those present saw some thoroughbreds practicing in the brisk morning air, and stood on the recently-completed Whitney Viewing Platform at what is called the “Oklahoma Track” because it is so far away.


The Saratoga Design Conference was an exploration of the dramatic changes taking place in the practice of architecture and the resulting innovative design work. The Design Conference’s primary purpose was to impart both practical and theoretical knowledge that will enable those attending to expand their areas of practice and increase their relevance. New partnerships were discussed with New York State’s schools of architecture to bring professionals academics closer together and help merge theory and practice. As AIANYS President Beeler put it, “New practice methodologies, such as research and evidence-based design, are transforming the profession and making our work more relevant to the needs of clients and the public.”


The 2014 AIA New York State Honor Awards were conferred at a gala dinner at the Saratoga Hilton on Friday, 10.10.14. The list of the service and achievement award winners included: Adrienne Bresnan, FAIA, and Joseph Bresnan, FAIA (Fellows Award); Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, AIA, LEED AP, and John A. Notaro, AIA (Matthew W. Del Gaudio Awards); Dennis A. Andrejko, FAIA (Kideney Award), Gregg Pasquarelli, AIA (President’s Award); Linsey Graff, Assoc. AIA (Intern-Associate Award), Jodi Monroe, AIA, and Rebuild by Design (Community Development Awards); and Gensler, represented by Joe Brancato, AIA (Firm of the Year). Two additional awards were celebrated at Saturday’s closing “Rise and Shine” breakfast. They went to Deborah Gans, FAIA (Educator Award), and Jennifer (JD) Harper (Student Award). Continue reading “Saratoga Sings”

New York Reinvests in the New: New Practices New York 2014

New York would seem to be the ideal place for young, energetic architects to establish a practice. As a world capital of design, there is no shortage of development here – new skyscrapers are erected, old buildings reimagined, and civil infrastructure projects initiated. But with Goliath architecture firms like Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and HOK offering steady and reliable, if not particularly innovative or challenging, designs, it can be difficult for new firms to get a foot in the door. With the pressures of the market economy underlying design decisions, developers and city agencies alike are likely to make a safe choice when it comes to architecture. But what is gained without taking risks? What happens to the cultural fabric of the city if architecture loses and its creative edge becomes relegated to a developer’s afterthought, or gets saddled with political dueling? How can New York combat the trend toward banality and encourage innovative design practices to take root here?

Such were the issues on the table at the panel discussion preceding the opening of “New Practices New York 2014” on 10.01.14. The exhibition, which comes out of a biennial competition hosted by the AIANY New Practices Committee, celebrates emerging New York architects who are swimming against the design tide in the city. Four of six of this year’s winners were on hand the night of the exhibition opening to present on their work and discuss how to make New York more hospitable to innovative design practices. The panel, moderated by Beatrice Galilee, curator of architecture and design at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was alternately optimistic and cynical about the opportunities for architects to realize their exciting and experimental projects, but each presenter articulated a unique and definitive role for architects in society, offering insight into the gamut of work going on in New York. Continue reading “New York Reinvests in the New: New Practices New York 2014”